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eContentplus (2005-2008)

The eContentplus programme will contribute towards supporting the development of multilingual content with a view to supplying innovative on-line services in the European Union (EU). It will make it possible to reduce fragmentation of the European digital content market and to improve access and ease of use of geographical information, educational material and cultural content.


Decision No 456/2005/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2005 establishing a multiannual Community programme to make digital content in Europe more accessible, usable and exploitable.


The eContentplus programme is in line with the conclusions of the Lisbon European Council (March 2000) which stressed that the shift to a digital, knowledge-based economy will be a powerful engine for growth, competitiveness and jobs. It also contributes to the implementation of the eEurope 2005 Action Plan which advocates the launching of actions to stimulate the emergence of secure services, applications and content over broadband networks.

eContentplus is the successor to the eContent Programme (2001-2004). It is part of a set of measures intended to create favourable conditions for innovation and creativity on the convergent content market, such as the MEDIAPlus Programme and the revised " Television without frontiers " Directive.

Overall duration and objective

The duration of the programme is 2005-2008. It aims to make digital content more accessible, usable and exploitable by facilitating the creation and dissemination of information at EU level.

Lines of action

In order to attain the overall aim of the Programme, the following lines of action will be addressed:

  • facilitating at Community level access to, use and exploitation of digital content;
  • facilitating improvement of quality and enhancing best practice related to digital content between content providers and users;
  • reinforcing cooperation between digital content stakeholders and awareness.

Target areas

The programme will concentrate its efforts on those parts of the digital content market where market fragmentation is most marked and where market forces by themselves have not managed to spur growth. Three areas are being mainly targeted:

  • Geographical information: the programme will encourage the aggregation of existing national databases in this area in order to create from them cross-border databases to which new information services and products can refer. eContentplus will thus further the setting up of information services at EU level based on data drawn from the transport, navigation, emergency services and environmental management sectors.
  • Educational material: the programme will support the development of open European knowledge pools of digital objects, for education and research communities, as well as the individual. The activities undertaken under the programme will prompt the creation of trans-European brokering services for digital learning content. They will support the emergence of an appropriate information network and encourage the use of open standards to foster the deployment of effective pan-European learning services.
  • Cultural content, scientific information and scholarly content: eContentplus will encourage the setting-up of European information networks for accessing and using European digital scientific and cultural resources through the linking of virtual libraries or community memories. It will support the development of interoperable collections and objects available in various cultural institutions (libraries, archives, museums, etc.) and of solutions to facilitate the exhibition, discovery or repatriation of such resources.


Any legal entity from an eligible country (European Union, accession candidate countries, Member States of the European Economic Area and of the European Free Trade Area) may participate in the eContentplus Programme.


The programme will be implemented through indirect action comprising:

  • shared-cost actions

- projects designed to increase knowledge so as to improve existing products, processes or services: Community funding will cover a maximum of 50% of the costs;

- best practice actions to spread knowledge: the Community contribution will be limited to direct costs deemed necessary for achieving the objectives of the action.

- thematic networks (networks bringing together a variety of stakeholders around a given technological and organisational objective): the Commission financial support will cover the additional eligible costs of coordinating and implementing the network.

  • accompanying measures:

These will contribute to the implementation of the programme or the preparation of future activities. Measures devoted to the commercialisation of products, process or services, marketing activities and sales promotion are excluded from that category. The accompanying measures will include:

- studies in support of the programme, including the preparation of future activities;

- exchange of information, conferences, seminars, workshops, etc.;

- dissemination, information and communication activities.

Calls for proposals and invitations to tender

The selection of shared-cost actions will be based on invitations to tender published on the Commission's internet site.

Accompanying measures will be implemented through invitations to tender.

Coordination with the other programmes

In the implementation of the Programme, the Commission will ensure consistency and complementarity of the eContentplus Programme with other relevant Community policies, programmes and actions, in particular the IDA, eTEN, eInclusion, eLearning, Modinis and Safer Internet programmes.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 456/2005/EC [adoption : codecision COD/2004/0025]



OJ L 79 of 24.03.2005


Decision 2004/387/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on interoperable delivery of pan-European eGovernment services to public administrations, businesses and citizens (IDABC) [Official Journal L 144 of 30.4.2004];

Decision No 2318/2003/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 December 2003 adopting a multiannual programme (2004 to 2006) for the effective integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education and training systems in Europe (eLearning Programme) [Official Journal L 345 of 31.12.2003];

Decision 2256/2003/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 November 2003 adopting a multiannual programme (2003-2005) for the monitoring of the eEurope 2005 action plan, dissemination of good practices and the improvement of network and information security (MODINIS) [Official Journal L 336 of 23.12.2003];

Decision 276/1999/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 January 1999 adopting a multiannual Community action plan on promoting safer use of the internet by combating illegal and harmful content on global networks [Official Journal L 33 of 6.2.1999];

Council Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 of 18 September 1995 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks [Official Journal L 228 of 23.9.1995].

See also

For more information, visit the Commission's " Information Society " website.

Last updated: 31.08.2007